Archaeology at the Visiting Officer’s Quarters

Pistol balls and pistol flints from archaeology at the Visiting Officer's Quarters
Pistol balls and a pistol flint from the Visiting Officers’ Quarters
Smoking pipes from archaeology at the Visiting Officer's Quarters
Fragments of ceramic smoking pipes. Note the molded designs on the two bowl fragments, and the glazed mouthpiece fragment which lent a smooth feel against the smoker’s lips.
Tableware ceramics found during archaeology at the Visiting Officer's Quarters
Sample of tableware ceramics found at the Visiting Officers’ Quarters. All are of the cheaper hand-painted variety save the top centre fragment which exhibits a more expensive blue-printed landscape scene.
Padlock fragment found during archaeology at Fort Willow
A fragment of a padlock from the Visiting Officers’ Quarters.

Researcher: Brent DiFebo, Grade 12

Wilfred Jury was an archaeologist who excavated at Fort Willow in 1959. He believed there was a Visiting Officers’ Quarters in this area based on his finds of upper class ceramics like blue printed pearlware tableware. Recent excavations in 2007 confirmed Dr. Jury’s conclusions. The Visiting Officers’ Quarters finds from 2007 included artifacts such as gunflints, sprue (a waste product created when soldiers made their own lead balls for their firearms), lead balls, and military buttons.

Some artifacts found near the Visiting Officers’ Quarters shed light on a soldier’s day to day life. Among these types of finds were smoking pipes, a common find from 19th century. Smoking was a favourite pastime for soldiers and offiers alike.

The finds also seem to indicate that there was once a building here. Architectural objects found include 415 pieces of window glass, door hardware, a padlock fragment, and 277 hand wrought nails, possibly fashioned by the smith at the Fort. Regrettably, though, no evidence for posts, building foundations or fireplaces have so far been recovered.

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